Posts Tagged With: Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy

Day 2135: Healing factors

A week ago Sunday, I attended a wonderful talk  by J. Scott Rutan, a highly esteemed writer, teacher, and practitioner of group psychotherapy. During the talk — offered by the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy —   Scott handed out a list of healing factors, and invited everybody to rank the healing factors in order.


This was a difficult task, because all of those healing factors are very important. However, I had no difficulty identifying what healing factor I rely on the most: Hope.

I hope it’s okay if I quote from my first blog post with “hope” in the title, written almost exactly three years ago today:

I hope I can express, in my first post about hope, how important hope is for human beings who struggle, cope, bruise, and heal.

I hope you understand that I’m saying that hope is important to all of us.

Hope is:

I hope there’s hope in the three photos I took yesterday.


Michael loves raccoons, so I bought him this mug yesterday.  I hoped that he’d like it and he did!




I hope we all survive the coming winter and don’t swallow too much snow.




I hope Scott Rutan, everyone else who helps me create these blog posts, and my readers know how thankful I am for them.

I hope this week brings good news to all who hold hope for the USA.

I hope you find hope in this:

I hope you comment about your own healing factors, below,  and accept more thanks from me.


Categories: group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Day 2126: I care

I care to start today’s post with links to past caring posts, including Day 2091: Open with care, Day 1809: CaregiversDay 1467: Why should anybody care about me?, Day 1279: Care,  Day 1233: Take Care, Day 672: Care, Day 578: I don’t care, and Day 195: Self care, wisdom, kindness.

I care to share this recent exchange with somebody I care about:

Me: I wonder why I’m so anxious?

Caring friend: Because you care.

Last week, I cared to apologize to a health insurance reviewer whom I had yelled at. He replied, with care: “You care about your patient.”

I care to share my photos from yesterday.










I care to caution all those who care: Warning! If you care, make sure you practice self care.

Here‘s “I Care” by Beyonce.

Today, I care to host a retreat for other group therapists who care .  Because I care about the Red Sox, I didn’t get much sleep last night.

I care about your comments and will read them after today’s group therapy retreat.

I care to end every post with thanks to all who help me create these blog posts with care and — of course! — to you, for caring.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Day 2026: Orange

About four years ago, I wrote a blog post titled “Orange.”  Orange you glad I’m writing another one today?

Many things have changed since I wrote that blog post, including this: The United States of America has a president who inspires a lot of jokes about orange. As a matter of fact, I wrote a joke about that two days ago:

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?


Orange who?

Orange you mad he’s president?

Speaking of presidents, I conducted my first board meeting last night as president of an organization whose official color is orange.


Orange I thrilled that meeting went well!

Orange you ready for my other photos from yesterday?




Orange I happy I get to do therapy groups where we discuss new beginnings!


Orange you relieved I’m typing  that hard-to-read handwriting in the above photo?

We don’t have to be in great shape to embark on a new beginning.

There is pain in new beginnings.

There are gifts and rewards in new beginnings.

You can keep doing things until you get things the way you want them.

Gardens keep having new beginnings.




When I chose this home a year ago, I knew it would be a welcoming place for the wonderful and caring people on my board.

Here are some recent photos from this blog which have orange in them:

I’ll be traveling to Iceland next month.  The Orange County Register lists 5 reasons to visit Iceland, here:

Here‘s an orange song, where you can sing along:

Orange you going to leave a comment?

Thanks to all who helped me create today’s orange post and — of course! — to YOU.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Day 2008: I’d rather be _________

How would you complete today’s blog title? Charlotte Beers  — “one of the few females to run a major ad agency’ —  has completed that sentence like so:


As one of the females to run a minor ad agency, I like to complete that sentence with whatever I am doing, in the moment.  Therefore, right now, I’d rather be blogging.  When I am facilitating groups, I sometimes tell the group members “There is nothing I’d rather be doing than this.”

As of today, July 1, 2018, I’d rather be president of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy.

Right now, I’d rather be sharing all these photos I took yesterday:


Now I’d rather be introducing you to Ray Blair …


… who was selling Yamaha pianos at a South Shore mall yesterday. Ray used to be the Dean of a local college; now he’d rather be sharing his passion for music.  Yesterday we both shared our original music with each other.

Now, I’d rather be re-sharing my first original song here at WordPress:

Finally, I’d rather be expressing thanks to all who helped me create today’s blog post and — of course! — to YOU.





Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Day 1999: Presidential

What does “presidential” mean to you?

Here’s an online definition:

relating to a president or presidency.
“the French presidential election”
having a bearing or demeanor befitting a president; dignified and confident.
“America wants a president who looks presidential”

Do you believe that America wants a president who looks presidential?

This president-elect of a group psychotherapy organization needs a presidential photo.


Which of those looks the most presidential to you?

Are any of the following photos (taken by a soon-to-be-president) dignified. confident, or otherwise presidential?














This month’s big presidential question IS where do we go from here?

This president-elect is going from here to Chicago today, for a gathering of other group psychotherapy presidents. Here is Chicago asking “Where Do We Go from Here?”

Presidential thanks to all who helped me create this presidential post and — of course! — to YOU.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 1623: What thoughts intimidate you?

What thoughts intimidate you?

Your own thoughts?

Other people’s thoughts?

These days, I am more intimidated by my own unhelpful thoughts than I am by other people’s thoughts.

Any thoughts about my photos from yesterday?













Do any of those thoughts or photos  intimidate you?

Yesterday, I was not intimidated by the thought of becoming President of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy (NSGP). Nobody else seemed intimidated by the thought of that, either.

Tonight, after another full day at the NSGP annual conference, I’m going to see the intimidatingly talented jazz guitarist, Pat Metheny.  I just searched for “Pat Metheny intimidating” in YouTube, and here‘s what came up:

Please leave any thoughts in a comment, below.

Thoughtful thanks to NSGP, to Erica (a board member from the New York affiliate group therapy organization), to Steve Cadwell (who ran yesterday’s “Group Therapy as Theater” Workshop), to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to Pat Metheny,  to everyone else who helped me create this (I hope!) non-intimidating post and — of course! — to YOU.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Day 1119: Practices

As somebody who practices daily blogging, I’m familiar with the importance and benefits of practice.

As somebody who practices psychotherapy, I’ll be more practiced with money issues, later today, after I attend “Money Matters: Looking at Money Issues in Our Practices” presented by the Practice Development Committee of the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy, an organization for people who practice group therapy.

Besides blogging, group psychotherapy, and new learning, here are more things I practice:

  • Solving mysteries, like how to get the air conditioner plug in my private practice office to fit the nearby outlet.


  • Dealing with snow in New England.


  • Finding meaning in greeting cards.











  • Finding meaning everywhere I look, including at the supermarket.


  • Interacting with those in high places.



  • Gratitude, every day.


Categories: blogging, group psychotherapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Day 889: This is Real

This is real. I saw this real sign yesterday at Simmons College in Boston, during a group therapy conference titled “Getting Real: Vulnerability and Effective Group Leadership.”

During the real group therapy conference, these were real:

  • My first real workshop for fellow real group therapists — about the real groups I really do four times a week —  went real, real well.
  • I really confronted somebody about a really critical comment made to me years ago that really made my self confidence reel — and that encounter went real, real well.
  • Real people, all during the group therapy conference, were real — really showing and acknowledging all the real human feelings, including sadness, anger, shame, fear, and joy.

These were also real, yesterday:



This is real: I don’t care what that Sweet Scoops  carton really says. Winter is NOT really the real season now, in Boston.

This is real: As I’m really writing this real post, I’m wearing a kind-of-blue, real hair extension.

Is this real hair extension real blue, kind of blue, or real teal? And what is the real reason I’ve felt like wearing really brightly colored real hair extensions, really recently? And will I  feel real and/or nervous tomorrow night at an audition when I ask the real musical question “Green finch and linnet bird, nightingale, blackbird, why is it you sing?”

I really learned this at the Getting Real group therapy conference:  it’s really helpful to ask real questions and give real answers about real feelings, even if those feelings are uncomfortable or kind of blue.

This is a real musical segue: Kind of Blue by the real Miles Davis (and featuring the real  John Coltrane, the real Bill Evans, and other real jazz giants) has really been my favorite album for over 45 real years.

This is a real 50th anniversary tribute to that real masterpiece, with real feelings:

Do you have any real feelings or real questions about anything in this post? This is real: I welcome all of them.

Real thanks to Simmons College, to all attending the Northeastern Society of Group Psychotherapy annual conference, to people open to repairing past experiences, to those who sing on steps or elsewhere, to Harriet Beecher Ashworth  (for her sewing), to super markets and super hair extensions, to Stephen Sondheim (for asking the real musical question about caged birds singing), to Miles Davis, to John Coltrane, to Bill Evans, to Paul Chambers, to Cannonball Adderley,  to Jimmy Cobb, and to you — of course! — for making this real, today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Day 884: Busy

I may have been too busy lately to share this with you, but the next 7 days are going to be very, very busy for me.

Let’s get busy with a list of my busy-ness, shall we?

  • Today will be a typically busy Wednesday for me, with  individual therapy and group therapy at work in the morning, an appointment in the afternoon, and then errands  and hanging with my boyfriend Michael in the evening.
  • Tomorrow I will be busy attending an all-day conference on medical practice innovation starting at 7:30 AM, busily rushing back to work in time for my therapy group at 5:30 PM.
  • Friday I’ll be busy at the very full and busy first day of  the annual conference of the Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy (NSGP), a professional organization I’ve been busy with for over 20 busy years.
  • Saturday I’ll be busily attending a morning workshop given by my friend and colleague Maxine, attending a business meeting of the busy board of directors of NSGP, presenting a workshop on my busy therapy groups in the afternoon, and going to a busy NSGP dinner at a busy Boston restaurant,
  • Sunday is almost as busy — with the final day of the NSGP conference —  although I probably won’t be busy with anxiety, because my presentation will be over.
  • Monday I get back to my busy job an hour earlier than usual, because I’ve had to schedule patients I was too busy to see on Thursday and Friday.
  • Tuesday I need to busily drive out to Concord, Massachusetts USA  (the site of some busy revolutionary  activity in the 1700s) to sing a very busy and difficult song as I audition for a local production of the musical Follies, created by the very busy and talented Stephen Sondheim.
  • Something I was too busy to remember when I published this post, a busy hour ago: on Wednesday evening I’m going to the Boston Pops with my son Aaron and my ex-sister-in-law Deborah, for an all Sondheim evening of music.

Wow. I’m going to be busy. Also, busy cold germs started getting busy in my nose and throat, yesterday.

Speaking of yesterday,  I was busy yesterday afternoon saying goodbye to Laura, who I’ve been busily and happily supervising at work. Laura will be busy, from now on, getting supervision elsewhere. I’m too busy to tell you more details about that, but I’m not too busy to tell you I will miss seeing Laura, every Tuesday at 4 PM.

I hope Laura isn’t too busy to read this blog post. She often isn’t, so …

“Hi, Laura!”

I hope I haven’t lost you in all the busy-ness of today’s post. Here are some busy pictures I wasn’t too busy to take yesterday:




I’ve been busy thinking about some busy music to busily include in today’s busy blog.

That’s the first 10 minutes of a busy production of Stephen Sondheim’s Company, which starts out with many busy noises of downtown NYC and includes many busily wonderful performances. Now I’m busily remembering how — in the 1970s — I was busy attending rehearsals for a local production of Company in Lexington, Massachusetts USA (another site of some busy revolutionary  activity in the 1700s).

I know we’re all busy these days, but if you leave a busy comment below, I’m not too busy to answer it.

Busy thanks to all the busy people mentioned in this post and to you — of course! — for being not too busy to visit, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 44 Comments

Day 525: Judgment and love

During the past three days, attending a group psychotherapy conference, I witnessed people doing their best to let go of old patterns of judgment that get in the way of love — love of self and love of others.

But isn’t love ALSO a kind of judgment?  Isn’t love just an extreme form of … like?

When we say, “I like this” and “I don’t like this” … isn’t that the essence of judgment? For example, when I’ve done mindfulness exercises with people, I’ve  asked people to observe their likes and dislikes — of a piece of music, a painting, a shell, etc. — to let go of those likes and dislikes as much as possible, and just be present with the object.

But it’s our nature to judge, isn’t it?

I know it’s my nature, for sure, no matter what the title of this blog.

For example, I really liked this sock that Suzanne — another conference attendee — showed me yesterday:


When I told, Suzanne, yesterday, that I wanted to include that sock she’s knitting in this blog, she immediately put it on, with pride.

Which reminds me of one of the most helpful moments of the three-day weekend — this exchange between me and a group leader:

Me: I know that a typical pattern for me, in a group, is to engage quickly (opening my arms wide — in a Ta-Da! gesture) and then, at some point, to withdraw (drawing myself in, and looking down).

Group Leader: Why not try pride, instead of shame?

But in order to have pride (or love) —  for ourselves and others — don’t we need to make some judgment about worth?  And by making a judgment, can’t we easily flip into the other side of that: judging ourselves and others negatively?

I don’t know if I’m going to figure this all out today, before I leave for work, but I would like to tell you about some other highlights, from the conference:

  • Standing in a crowded room, alone, observing others interacting socially, and truly believing it was okay for me to just stand there, without having anybody by my side to talk to.
  • Dancing with an old friend, in a hallway, as his cell phone was playing “Dance with Me,”  and not caring what other people might think.
  • Meeting somebody new, and learning from her that it was okay (and even beautiful) to take up space, even if you might feel stigmatized for your difference and your status within the group.
  • Being reminded you don’t have to see and hear everything, in order to learn.
  • Realizing, again, that it’s okay to be messy:




Thanks to Suzanne, Joe, and all the other teachers and learners at the NSGP annual conference; to Orleans (not the Little River Band) for “Dance With Me”;  to people who do their best to let go of old and unhelpful patterns; to those who experience love, pride, and other human emotions; and to you — of course! — for visiting today.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , | 41 Comments

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